Chapter 36 - Knox
“Shit!” I slammed my phone down onto the coffee table again.
She still wasn’t answering. Her phone didn’t even ring - it went straight to voicemail.
It had been three days. Three days since we last talked, and I let my big mouth rip Snow and me apart.
I hadn’t been sleeping. I’d been tossing around, looking at my phone. And when I did manage to slip into a restless slumber, I’d been waking up in cold sweat, having those dreams again. But this time, Snow was drowning, and I wasn’t there to save her.
It felt real. I felt the cold licking against my skin. I heard the rush of water inside my head. I saw the unforgiving darkness. I felt her slipping away from me...
The worst thing was, the moment I said those words, I realized something. I realized that the thought of Snow being with anyone - but most of all, Connor Blake - was destroying me inside. I couldn’t stand the thought of her looking for a house with Connor, because it sounded like something a couple would do, planning their life together. And I hated the thought, because I wanted her to do all of that with me...
When Snow had visited London, I realized that I was in love with her. I realized that I’d never meet a girl like her again. I was completely fucking obsessed with her. But then, like I giant fool, I let her go again, without saying anything except that I’d see her again at Christmas. It was my fault that we were in this situation right now, where Snow felt uncertain about where she stood with me.
Perhaps it was still that guilt eating away at me inside - that guilt of being the one who survived, while Harlow was no longer here. Did I deserve to be happy, in addition to being the one who survived? Was it fair to Harlow and her family, for me to really fall in love with someone, and have the happily ever after that Harlow never had? To have a future, to have plans, to live with passion, while she was laying dead underground.
I’d come to realize that I was still messed up over the whole thing. That I still had issues to work through. That I’d been holding back because deep down inside, I carried too much guilt to allow myself to let go completely and just be happy. And that I needed to do something about that if there was any chance of a future with Snow.
Snow deserved better than me. She deserved the sun and the moon and all of the stars in the galaxy. She deserved to have a future. To be happy. To love and to be loved, unreservedly. But despite the fact that she deserved better than me, she still wanted to be with me. And instead of running away from my past, including Snow, I should thank my lucky stars that she saw something in me that she liked, and that she’d been indulging me for as long as she had, quite frankly.
I was losing Snow this time; I was fast realizing that, and it was killing me inside. I couldn’t begin to fathom my life without her in it. Without seeing her smile every day - even if over a camera on a screen, half a world away. It hurt to fucking breathe, thinking that I’d never see her again. Never kiss her again. Never feel her soft body curved around mine again.
And over and over, the one though slamming into me was that I had to do whatever it took to make things right. Because Snow owned my heart and my soul, and without her, I was a hollow echo. She’d been saving me much more than I ever saved her, and I needed her to save my soul from complete damnation.
I was getting more and more desperate with every passing minute, because I’d formed the suspicion that she hadn’t even been listening to my messages. I know she would’ve gotten the flowers, but she was really upset at me this time, because it was unlike Snow to ignore my messages like that.
I knew I had to try something different, so I took a chance and called her sister. It was a fucking miracle, but she immediately answered, sounding puzzled as hell as to why I’d be calling her.
“Knox?” She answered the call via messenger.
“Hi, Hailey. I know I’m probably the last person you expected to hear from...” I sighed.
“That’s not too far from the truth. How are things going with you?” She still sounded surprised.
“Not so good. I don’t know how much your sister has told you about what’s been going on...”
“She hasn’t said much, but I couldn’t help but see the flower arrangements which have been arriving over the past few days.”
I could hear that she was smiling, clearly not realizing the gravity of the situation.
“Did she read the messages?” I asked desperately.
“Not sure. She hasn’t said anything about any messages.”
“I’ve messed up, Hailey. I need to talk to her. She’s not taking my calls. I’m really, really desperate here. Is she around?”
I held my breath, hoping like hell that Hailey would cooperate and give her sister the phone.
“No - she’s out with Connor - they’re at some fancy formal dinner.” Hailey sounded hurt, just saying Connor’s name, too.
And it was like she’d crushed my spirit with those words...
“Shit - this is not going to plan - at all,” I sighed. Because I could feel Snow slipping away from me by the second here.
And it was as though I wanted to punish myself, but I had to know...
“Did Connor end up buying that house he had a look at with Mel?”
“Mel said that he’d made an offer. I’m not sure if he has heard back or not, but he must be pretty confident he’ll get the place because he has already asked Mel to move in with him.” Hailey said tonelessly, but I know exactly how she felt.
Every molecule of oxygen was ripped from my throat and my lungs. I was losing Snow, and it was all my fault because I’d so much as driven her right into the arms of Connor Blake.
“Fuck... it’s too late, isn’t it?” I muttered under my breath, and a giant tsunami of devastation smashed right into me.
“What?” Hailey asked, sounding confused.
“Nothing. Has she said yes? To moving in with him?”
“She’s thinking about it, although my dad isn’t a fan of the idea. He’s trying to talk her out of it.”
And I wanted to hug Snow’s dad right then. But I knew exactly what I had to do. I had to try to win her back, at least. I couldn’t just sit back and let the best thing in my life slip away from me because I’d been too blind and stubborn to hang onto her, hard, like she deserved to be hung onto.
I’d been wrong about a lot of things, but I’d been right about one thing all along. Snow was the type of girl who’d either break your heart, or you’d want forever with. And I’d come to realize that I wanted forever with her. And I’d be damned if I gave up without putting up one hell of a fight, even if it meant taking on Connor Blake.
“Thanks for your help. Could you please tell her when you see her that I tried calling? And that no matter what she’s thinking right now, I’m asking for just a minute of her time, if she could please call me back?”
“Tell your sister... never mind. I need to tell her myself,” I sighed, knowing it would be a mistake to use Hailey as a messenger.
“Are you okay? You sound... off,” Hailey said hesitantly.
“No, I’m not okay. But thanks for asking. Have a good night.”
I disconnected the call, wanting to scale the walls. I tried calling Snow again, feeling like clawing out my fucking tongue for saying what I did and driving a wedge between us.
“Hi, this is Melody. Leave a message if you’d like me to return your call.”
That voice - shit how I missed hearing her voice. How I missed every single thing about her... I almost felt like crying, because the amount of pain I was feeling right now was enough to drive any sane person to some form of addiction.
“Snow, please, please pick up the damn phone. I beg you. I need to talk to you, right now. Please stop punishing us both. I got the message, loud and clear. You have absolutely no idea how absolutely fucked up I’ve been the past few days, how much I wish I could take it back. How much I wish you were back here again, and I could do things over again. Please. Don’t end us over this.”
And then, I hastily composed a text message, in case she just deleted the voice message without even listening.
TEXT: I have a feeling you haven’t been listening to the messages I’ve left you. Please don’t shut me out, Snow. Those dreams are back, and you’re the one drowning this time. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I need to talk to you, and know you’re okay. Please. I’m going out of my mind here.
I hit send, but part of me already knew she wasn’t going to respond. But I already knew what I had to do. I’d have to make one hell of a grand gesture to show Snow I was serious about this, about us.
So, I picked up the phone again...
“Knox - how are things going?” My dad sounded happy to hear from me. I didn’t call home as often as I should, and I knew it.
“I’m coming home for a few days. I have some urgent personal business to take care of. Is it okay if I stay for a few days?”
“Of course! We’ll love having you here. Is everything okay, though?” He asked perceptively.
“It isn’t right now. But I’m hoping to make things right,” I raked a desperate hand through my hair, hoping to hell that she’d give me the time of day to try and make things right.
“Does this have anything to do with Melody Davis?” My dad asked, clearly knowing more than I gave him credit for.
“It has everything to do with her,” I admitted.
“Did you fuck things up with her?” He didn’t sound impressed with me, at all.
“Yes, I did. I need to see her because she’s not talking to me right now.”
And I couldn’t remember when last I opened up like this to my parents. Because usually, I kept my feelings guarded - like a closed book.
“Do you love her?” He pushed further, and I realized that it was the first time in my life that I was having this type of conversation with my dad.
“I do. I can’t lose her, or I’ll go mad,” I admitted again, surprising myself.
“Get your ass on the first plane out here, son. Make her listen. Make her understand how serious you are about her.”
And just then, my dad surprised the hell out of me, because I’d been expecting a lecture about how young I was and how I needed to finish my studies before chasing after a girl.
“That’s exactly what I’m planning on doing. And Dad - about my trust fund...” I asked hesitantly.
“I have access to it, right?” I asked, because I’d never paid much attention to it. I knew it was there, simmering away in the background if I ever needed it, but I didn’t even know how much money was in there, because quite simply, I hadn’t cared, until now.
“Yes - when you turned twenty-one, it vested in you,” he confirmed what I was thinking.
“Do you have any idea how much is in there?”
I was pushing my luck now, and I knew it.
“Just shy of a million, give or take.”
My eyebrows shot up. Fuck - I was rich, apparently, and I didn’t even know it.
“Would you object if I used some of it?”
“It’s your money. I’m hoping that you won’t spend it on garbage, and make sound investments with it, because it’s intended to help set you up for the future,” he said, sounding slightly concerned.
“I won’t, promise. And... thanks, Dad. I know I haven’t said it enough over the years.”
My dad seemed stunned for a second.
“No problem, Knox. I’m here if you ever wanted to talk. And trust me, I get it. I get how it feels to be desperately in love with a girl, and what it feels like to have her slip through your fingers. Don’t give up. Go get her and bring her home so we can meet her properly, too.”
“You’re not going to tell me I’m too young to get serious with a girl?” I asked, kind of dumbfounded.
“No. When it happens, it happens, and you just know.”
And just then, I realized that I hadn’t given my parents enough credit, just assuming they wouldn’t understand.
“Thank you. I’ll be home as soon as I can.”
The next call I made was to a travel agent. And within a few hours, I was on a flight home. And every minute brought me closer to my Snow. I just hoped that I wasn’t too late...